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I am dead

I lay there stretched and calm as the cockroaches nimble around my body. I didn’t know if my mirror had lied me all these years or I have had a chronic problem with my eye-sight. I have hated cockroaches, they arouse filth in me, I want to drown them in my stinky vomit, squeeze them out of their juices. But there I like calm, my eyes closed. Even then I wanted to kill those scurrying filths but I hate it more when the juices spill out of them. My doors were open and I could see people staring at me solemnly, this was pity not scorn and the pity was not for me but for themselves. Two kids talked with each other in whispers and they looked confused and scared. My dog sat before me. I wondered what it was all about, what was going on. I was thinking and there I was lying on the ground against nothing but the cold floor. I felt as if I had come out of myself. My land-lady came in panicked. She moaned and sobbed but again that was for herself. I had died and that was my body. I was shocked, I was in agony, I was aghast. What had happened to me? I remember going to bed after reading a book, the day had gone really well and I had a good meal after a long time even had a wine. I had a painting exhibition next month. I had almost completed all work and had a meeting with the sponsor. Two of my paintings were to be exhibited among others and they had promised to pay me Rs.10000 just for putting it there and had said if my paintings were sold they will give me more than 90%.
There were two friends of mine squatting on my left side. One of them had his eyes dipped in tears while other held his head in his hands as if his head will fall to ground if he didn’t hold them. Amid so many people there was an unusual silence. I do not know least number of people who had come to see how I had died, how did my dead body look, if I drooped my tongue or not, how would be the posture of my body? ‘Sunny’ was the name I had given to the dog. It was just another stray dog in the street but what did it feel about me that whenever I came he came wagging his tail. I had chased him away, kicked him and stoned him but still he ran toward me as soon as he saw me coming. I myself struggled to make my ends meet; there were so many times I had wandered in the city for work with empty stomach so there was no way I could invite the dog. After a struggle for almost six month I managed to get a job of a salesman in a store. I had celebrated with the dog on the day I got job. After offering him a loaf of bread I had asked the dog to leave and he left as if he understood what I had said. The next day I found him sleeping by the side of the door of my room. Everyday I fed him and people said that was my dog so I also thought he was my dog.
The dog looked in the air but he pierced my soul, the only living being in the room I felt sorry was for Sunny. His eyes had the real picture of grief. When I was young I used to think tear was the proof of the devastating grief but no after seeing Sunny I felt I was wrong. I do not know the number but there were not less than fifty heads with their eyes directed toward me and only one of the head that was completely different from other heads was sad and grieved.
I had known these two boys who I mentioned as friends in the same store where I work and they lived in condition not less pitiful than mine. One of them also liked painting so we usually talked about painting and had visited few galleries together. He had also applied to the sponsors to allow him to put his paintings in the exhibition but they had rejected. One of the sponsors had watched one of my paintings for a long time as if he were the only one in my small room. When others left he had told me if no-body bought that painting he will buy it himself. So, this friend of mine had assumed that I could recommend him to the sponsors. I had told him I will talk about him. The tears in his eyes were for the recommendation that he will not get now. The other friend said softly if they are going to office today or not? I didn’t feel bad about it because I knew they couldn’t take a chance of loosing the job.
Why had they come I wondered? They were not different than the other gazers except that they sat closer and inside the room.
My land-lady after seeing Sunny around me said, “Chase this dog out of here. If he touches the body, the soul will be impious and it won’t get the salvation.” When nobody volunteered she looked for something in my rather empty room and got a broom behind the door. She hit the dog in back; the dog moved to another place but she would not let him stay in she hit him hard this time. Sunny gave a mourning look at me and walked out. My heart wrenched; I had never inflicted such pain upon myself when the victim was somebody else. It seemed only Sunny attached me to this world.
When I was alive, I had read Bhagwat Gita where lord Krishna said to Arjuna that body takes pain, it moans, it feels sorry, it blazes in grievances, it suffers in love. He had said when somebody dies only he changes the body and his soul never undergo any change, it is uninfected by pain and joy attributed to life. But there I was feeling sad for Sunny, I scorned the people and I laughed at myself.
There were few paintings lying in my bed which I had kept as invaluable treasures but they looked so useless. I had no concern for them, I didn’t care if they burnt it, throw it away or did whatever that they feel like doing.
Someone informed the police and there they were taking pictures of the lump of flesh that had once been my body, inquiring my friends and my landlady. They asked if I had any relative; none of them knew if I had one; no one knew me in the city. My landlady had chased away my real soul-mate, the only relative I had in this whole earth. They took my body for post-mortem; I was already filled with filth. I didn’t care what happens to my body now.

6 thoughts on “I am dead

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